Definition of mandamus in English:



mass nounLaw
  • A judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court or ordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.

    ‘an order of mandamus’
    • ‘Nonetheless I think that it is preferable to remit the question to him rather than to grant an order of mandamus requiring the Commissioner to grant leave.’
    • ‘The same would apply if an order of mandamus were made.’
    • ‘Because if one is speaking about prohibition and mandamus, prohibition and mandamus are concerned with duties.’
    • ‘No error of law has been shown that would attract the writ of mandamus.’
    • ‘A writ of mandamus was sought and granted by the High Court.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin, literally ‘we command’.